Patients are admitted to Ashworth because they present a grave danger to themselves or other people.
There are some patients that may never leave Ashworth because of the complexities of their conditions. There are, though, many others that recover sufficiently to leave and continue on their journey towards recovery.
This is illustrated by the fact that in 2016 we have had 23 admissions (up to 18 August) and 22 transfers or discharges while the average length of stay is around five years, half of what it was a decade ago.
There was some excellent media coverage back in August from Ashworth Hospital, onthe BBC 1 news while a different report on the same topic was also broadcast on Radio Four’s PM programme. You can access the BBC News one here and the Radio Four one here.
Both those reports are very important because instead of focussing on some of the high profile patients we care for at Ashworth, they concentrated on the prospects of recovery from such an environment.
As a Trust we agreed to co-operate with the BBC when we were approached at the end of last year because they were also interested in addressing the false perception that admission into a high secure hospital meant life.
We hope the reports showed that Ashworth is a hospital, not a prison – an important step if we are to rid mental health of the stigma that is often associated with it.
(Extract from Chief Executive's blog 26/8/16)
The Communications Team can be contacted on 0151 471 2336